A few weeks ago, I did something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time: I made a family schedule. I wrote down my goals for the week. I made a list of how many hours I needed to devote to work, school, play, and family time. Then I artfully arranged every hour of every day so I could achieve those goals. After an hour, I had finished my master plan. I took a step back and looked at my masterpiece. It was clear. It was organized. It was CRAZY.
I booked every minute of every day from now until December. My husband and I had dreamed of taking the kids up to the mountains to visit Grandma, but it’s not in the schedule. I really wanted to see the new Brad Pitt movie, but it is not in the schedule. I thought that I might like to try showering every day (a novel idea). Alas, it’s not in the schedule. My little calendar contained every must-do I could think of; however, there wasn’t any room left for the would-like-to-dos. I created the schedule to maximize my productivity and minimize the chaos that is my life, yet the more I looked at the schedule, the more I felt overwhelmed. It just reinforced what I feared: I had bitten off more than I could chew.
When I see those previews for that new movie with Sarah Jessica Parker, I want to throw things. Hard, concrete things that make loud noises when they hit other things. Maybe it bothers me because I think the filmmaker missed an opportunity to add something new to the conversation about working mothers. Or maybe it bothers me that Sarah Jessica Parker manages to get things done while waltzing around in a fancy pairs of shoe and I don’t have time to take a shower (see previous paragraph). Or maybe the movie bothers me because it reminds me of all the things I have to do and all the things I want to do that I never get around to doing because they’re not in the schedule.
Andrea Hart is a freelance writer, a student, a teacher, a wife and a mother to two rambunctious boys. She currently resides in Southeastern PA.